Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog.
Note: Contents data are machine generated based on pre-publication provided by the publisher. Contents may have variations from the printed book or be incomplete or contain other coding.
Contents Introduction Part I: Game Meat 1. Antelope: A Different Kind of Venison Antelope Steak in Mushroom Sauce Roasted Antelope Tenderloin 2. Bear: There's a Bruin Stewin' Belgian Bear Roast Braised Bear Steaks Bear Shoulder Roast Backyard Barbecued Bear Marinated and Grilled Bear Steaks 3. Caribou Mexican Fiesta with Caribou Fajitas Cook's Choice: Caribou Steaks on the Grill Easy Entertaining: Braised Caribou Strips in Wine 4. Elk Melt-in-Your-Mouth Swiss Style Elk Steaks Stuffed Elk Roast with Port Wine Reduction 5. Moose Think Moose, Think Big, Think Steak! 6. Venison Flavors of Summer: Grilled Venison Chops Comfort Food: Venison Hunter's Style Chili Times Three Special Occasion Dinner: Pepper Crusted Rack of Venison Charcoaled Venison Steak with Horseradish Sauce Italian Tratorria-Inspired Venison with Polenta South of the Border: Venison Chops with Chiles Man of the House Broiled Venison Steaks with Portobello Mushrooms 7. Miscellaneous Game Grilling with Wet and Dry Marinades Harvest Delights with Ground Game Meat Party Time! Part II: Wild Fowl 8. Upland Game Birds Mustard Scented Chukar Partridge Lovey, Dovey Marsala Golden Greek Memories and Grilled Grouse Pheasant in Cream Sauce Cider Braised Pheasant Breasts Hunter's Style Pheasant: Cacciatore Oven Fried Quail Backyard Bliss: Citrus Sharptail Wild Turkey with Pear Sauce and Roasted Turnips Grilled Turkey Rolls A Trio of Wild Turkeys 9. Waterfowl Chinese Spiced Teal Breasts Roast Mallard Duck with Fruit Sauce Cajun Cookin' Duck Gumbo Duck, Duck, Duck Mahogany Mallard A Christmas Goose The Golden Goose Braised Sand Hill Crane Breasts with Mushrooms in White Wine Slow Simmered Snow Goose Roasted Savory Specklebelly Goose Part III: Wild Fish 10. Wild Fish Batter Fried Northern Pike Fillets with Chips Barbecued Northern Pike Blackened Redfish Orange-Glazed Salmon Fillets Poached Salmon with Beurre Blanc Planked Salmon Snapper Fillets in Parchment Baked Stuffed Striped Bass Spinach Stuffed Citrus Trout Classic Pan Fried Trout Rainbow Trout with Pecan Butter Walleye Almandine Introduction I always thought that someday I would write a book. I just never thought it would be a cookbook! I do love to cook, and I do love to eat, so I guess nature just took its course. I grew up with folks who hunted and fished. From my earliest recollections I can remember hunting for night crawlers for fishing. If we wanted to go fishing after supper it was our job to find the worms. Not easy when you live in a neighborhood with a driveway and a poor tired backyard that was beaten to death by a passel of kids playing ball and riding bikes on its tiny area. But we dutifully rolled rocks and lifted the bricks in my grandmother's flowerbeds to find worms. We couldn't wait to go fishing with Grandpa, who was the most avid of fishermen I ever met. Of course we'd bring home bluegills and sunnies, or a trout or two, and Gramps would clean them and then we'd fry them up. My uncle Junior used to hunt the Maine woods every year during deer season. He'd load up provisions, and his hunting buddies, which included his brother, my father, and several friends and make the pilgrimage to Maine. My dad never harvested a deer--I don't think he ever got a shot at one--but my uncle always came home with a deer, which meant venison for dinner. One year my aunt Natalie harvested a deer at deer camp! I think that one tasted the best ever! When I met my husband, I was not quite prepared for a guy who hunts, as he puts it, "365 days a year." Granted, most of them are from his easy chair, but he lives to hunt. I wasn't really prepared to see a deer brought home the first day of deer season, especially year after year. Nor was I ready to have a freezer stocked with bear, caribou, elk, geese, ducks, Arctic char, salmon, and the like. I didn't have any room for steak and chicken! I figured I had better start cooking this wild game meat to make room for frozen corn and ice cream. I was always a cook. My love affair with food has been a lasting one. I was inspired by the women in my family. My grandmother was an excellent cook. I learned many of the basics at an early age, right by her side. She would have me beside her and we'd get supper ready. Soon, she'd just tell me what to do, and I just cooked! My mother too, was a demon in the kitchen. She liked nothing better that a houseful of people piled into her kitchen or backyard sharing a meal and good times, the more the merrier. When I lived at home, I was her sous chef. Not happy with just the standards of meat and potatoes we began trying and cooking new exotic things, we went to Chinese cooking school, we made homemade pasta, we canned, pickled, and preserved. And above all I learned that cooking and eating is about more than just the food. It's about sharing, and loving and nurturing each other and those we loved. When I married, I experimented with Mexican food, which wasn't readily available, no Taco Bell in those days. I learned how to make Greek food from a college friend, and Polish food from another. Of course I had to expand my Italian cuisine seeing that I was married to an Italian. Bread making came next as one day I wanted pita bread and I was snowed-in! So my cooking experiences have been a progression and a life journey. Now I use game meat in traditional and classic recipes in ways that you may not think of. I too, started out with the ubiquitous lump of game meat and two cans of mushroom soup. This book is for those who find themselves with wild meat, fowl, or fish, and who may not be quite sure of how to cook it or what to eat with it. Many times I have had people, hunters and hunter's wives ask not only, "How should I cook it?" but, "What goes wit it?" A gourmet is a person with a discriminating palate and knowledge of food. I hope that this book inspires you to expand your repertoire of cooking techniques, and recipes as you include the bounty of nature's wild offerings of meat, fish, and fowl. You too can be a "gourmet gone wild," cooking the fruits of your sporting man's excursions. Preparing and Savoring Wild Game Meat The reward of a hunt is not only the trophy rack or glossy bear rug. Many hunters do hunt primarily for the trophy that hangs on the wall. They may eat a steak or the fresh liver at deer camp but don't truly know what to do with the meat when it comes home. Some don't know what to do with it after they kill it. They have it butchered, dump it in the freezer, and don't really get a chance to really enjoy it. Many home cooks don't know how to cook game meat, and if you cook it like domestic meat you may be disappointed. The true prize of the hunt is the game meat you can bring to your table. Wild game meat is a limited commodity. Nature's bounty cannot be found at the local supermarket. Even the finest restaurants that boast venison or buffalo are serving a domesticated version of the meat and not true wild game. So if you are a hunter or you cook for one, the meat that is brought home is a special treat and it deserves to be treated as such. Long before it makes it to your menu, many variables have already affected the outcome of your meat. The first is the age, sex, and time of year the animal was taken. Obviously a young animal will be different from an old bruiser. Whitetails taken during the rut may have a stronger flavor than one taken in the beginning of the season. You are what you eat; we've heard this adage for eons. Well when it comes to game meat the same is true. What your animal has been eating greatly affects its taste. A bear eating agricultural crops will taste very different from one foraging. Venison from a deer eating corn will have a different flavor than one eating bark and acorns. So keep that in mind. If you have a prolific hunter, and more than one deer ends up in your freezer, mark it accordingly so you can identify it, and cook it accordingly. Perhaps the biggest factor affecting the taste of wild meat is one that is very much within the hunter's control. Meat handling. Hunters are often so fixated on the trophy antlers, or pelt, that they may not be thinking of the meat. Often it is an afterthought. The care your game meat receives is a critical aspect of its taste. For many years hunters have hung their deer for days before butchering. Partly I'm sure to show off their trophies, partly out of a misguided sense of what was always done, and perhaps partly while waiting for a butcher. This may be OK if you are experiencing cold weather, but hanging a deer in a tree when the temperature is too warm is an invitation for spoilage. Often the "gamey" taste people refer to is actually a "bad" taste, as in beginning to spoil. It is imperative to get the meat cleaned properly and cooled and then refrigerated as soon as possible. Once butchered, as soon as possible, it should be wrapped and or sealed properly and frozen as quickly as possible. Let it age I the freezer. Remember if you treasured game meat is improperly handled in the field or not under refrigeration and not butchered in a timely manner then your meat may have an "off" taste no matter what you do to prepare it. Given that game meat is not always easy to come by, you should only cook with the freshest and finest ingredients. If you are using herbs, use fresh whenever possible. If you are using wine, remember the rule of thumb, if you wouldn't drink it in a glass, don't cook with it. On a personal note, in our house we don't really enjoy ground meat as much as we do steaks. For years I found the steaks and roasts were the first to be used and we ended up with ground game meat of all kinds. The kids love jerky and smoked sausage so we now use a butcher who will take all the meat that one would normally grind for deer or bear burger and have it seasoned, smoked, and prepared in various ways, summer sausage, breakfast and dinner sausage, jerky, and kielbasa. If I want ground meat for a recipe, I simple pull out a roast or some stew meat and run it through my meat grinder. It works for us. It is also a way to serve and enjoy your game meat with little or no preparation, save for thawing. The point is, if you don't enjoy meatloaf made with hamburger, you probable won't enjoy one just because it is made with caribou burger either. One work of caution, because game meat is lower in fat, and depending upon the age of the animal, it should be cooked with a moist method and served on the rare side. The only exception is bear meat which needs to be cooked like pork. To avoid possible trichinosis contamination all bear meat needs to be cooked to well done, no pink! You can tenderize meat by marinating it in an oil and acid based marinade such as wine, vinegar, or even fruit juice. Many of these recipes are interchangeable, depending upon what you have on hand. The word venison is derived from the Latin "venari" which means to hunt, so any meat obtained while hunting could be called venison. Normally, we think of venison as primarily the edible flesh from a member of the deer family, and specify caribou, pronghorn, elk, and moose separately. Most deer recipes will work with antelope, moose, elk, or caribou. I personally find caribou the closest to beef, but others say elk. Bear meat is stronger and the meat is of a coarser grain, Remember if substituting, bear needs to be cooked to well done. Don't be afraid to substitute, or experiment with a recipe. If you like a certain ingredient add it, if you don't (ginger for me), lessen the amount or leave it out. If you don't have enough of one kind of meat or fowl, try stretching it by adding a similar type of meat or a domestic version. Not enough deer burger? Add some ground beef, vela or pork. Not enough wild turkey to go around, cook a ham or domestic bird to accompany it. Also remember the trick of serving substantial side dishes or a hearty first course if your game meat quota is running low. You can also serve your game meat as a starter or in a soup to give everyone a chance to enjoy it and cook a domestic main course. Be creative and enjoy, after all what you cook, and how you cook it is not only an extension of yourself but a way to say "You're special!" to someone when you put that extra effort into preparing a meal for your family and friends. So in the spirit of moist and tender game meat, use moist cooking methods such as braising or stewing. Slow cookers make meal preparation easy if you have one. Marinades can add or lock in moisture as well as flavor for those steaks or chops grilled or broiled. Roasting in an oven bag, covered roaster pan or by adding fat to your meal with bacon, lard, or butter can keep your meal moist and succulent. When cooking game meat, except for bear, not overcooking is critical, rare meat is better. Bear meat should be cooked with a thermometer to avid overcooking as well. Meat can be removed form the heat source at 165°F, and allowed to stand for 10-15 minutes, and the internal temperature will go up about five degrees to 170°F. Game Meat Temperature chart Degree of Doneness Internal Temperature Rare: red center, cool 120°F Medium Rare: red center, warm 130°F Medium: pink center, warm 140°F Medium Well: light pink center, hot 150°F Well Done: no pink, hot center 160-170°F
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication: